Miscellaneous Waterjet Fabrication (2018 - 2020)
Having optimized industrial automation solutions for CNC production and subsequently setting up Precise Waterjet, I've been able to work on and consult for a number of engineering projects and art installations, and this page touches on a few of those projects. The main waterjet machine used was an OMAX 60120, cutting using 60,000 psi with a 5-axis cutting head capable of angles up to 60°.
I have also finished components using various post-processing and post-machining techniques, including heat-treatment, tapping, CNC milling, tumbling, sandblasting, outsourced anodizing, etc.
There are other interesting projects that I'd love to show, but I have an upmost respect for confidentiality requests from artists, engineers, and other clients.
Left/below: Replacement mixing blade cut from D2 tool steel, 5-axis waterjet cut and tempered to increase hardness to HRC 60.
Right: The waterjet allows multiple generations of machine prototypes to be designed, fabricated, and tested extremely rapidly. Optimization of the designs allow for machining tolerances and striation accommodation, ensuring reliable joints. Without a properly calibrated 5-axis cutting head this assembly method wouldn't be possible.
Below: A couple of glass cuts; the new FOX logo was used for their 2019 unveiling video. Glass typically needs a finer grade of abrasive to reduce microfractures, and often glass projects needed additional post processing to have pristine edges.
Left/below: Living hinges cut from 0.060" thick spring steel for use in a self-assembling wireless transceiver research project being developed at Caltech.
Right/below: Large art installation project mainly comprising of 6 exterior composite architectural panels, comprised of lightweight honeycomb sheets with a polished granite exterior surface, all sandwiched using aerospace epoxy. The edges of the large panels were cut at a 45° angle to allow the 6 sheets to assemble forming a cube. Cutouts enabled various stone inlays to be placed; some inlays spanned across multiple composite sheets, whilst some inlays were comprised of different stone cuts, so care was required to ensure that all seams were flush and to minimize the requirement of grout. Sandblasted designs also covered the cube, again with some of the patterns spanning across multiple faces.
Due to the complexity of this project, I worked closely with the artist and art fabricator to alter the design over multiple generations to increase manufacturability and reduce production cost.
Left: Titanium business cards waterjet cut, tumbled, and laser etched.
Bottom left: Replacement parts for the End-Game heavyweight BattleBot built by the famed New Zealand team, OYES Robotics, whilst they were in the US for the 2019 Battlebots World Championship. They needed replacement A36 steel parts, but I worked with vendors to make sure that they received the parts next day made from AR500 ballistic steel plate. Brief behind-the-scenes footage of OYES Robotics reaching out to get the replacement parts.
Below: Custom signs replicated from a quick photo of an existing sign.
Right/below: Custom blades cut from a standard knife blade. Required calibration to ensure the blade edge was perpendicular to the blade length.
Left/below: I swapped out my motherboard as it was having intermittent electrical issues which left me with a spare motherboard, so I decided that waterjetting the motherboard was the clear next step. I took a couple of measurements and drafted a super quick cut; I tried to line up the 'motherboard' text with an empty space, but it ended up looking way better than expected with the GPU stand.
Waterjet workholding isn't normally troublesome, but care had to be taken to keep the nozzle (an expensive replacement) clear from any soldered leads or components on the backside of the motherboard. The underside of the motherboard also isn't flat which presented its own issues...fun little cut.